From The Little Mermaid
Ariel is the main protagonist of the franchise, save the second film in which she is a secondary character. Ariel is voiced by Jodi Benson in all but the The Little Mermaid 2.5, where is was voiced by Tara Stong and designed by Glen Keane. Ariel is the younger of the seven daughters of King Triton of the merfolk, and over the course of the original film becomes human and marries Prince Eric, a human.
Prince Eric is based on the "prince" character of Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Little Mermaid" but adapted by the writer-directors Ron Clements and John Musker for the film adaptation. According to the film's official novelisation, Eric had just turned eighteen in the film, which would make him two years older than Ariel. Eric is voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes in the original film and in Kingdom Hearts II, by Jeff Bennett in the prequel television series, and by Rob Paulsen in the direct-to-video sequel.
Eric is a human prince who is rescued by Ariel when he almost drowns in a storm at sea. Ariel drags him to shore and sings to him, but before he can fully regain consciousness, Max and his servant Grimsby arrive, forcing Ariel to dive underwater. Eric is haunted by Ariel's voice, and searches the kingdom for her to no avail. When he crosses paths with Ariel again, she has traded her voice for legs, and though he initially finds her familiar, her lack of a voice makes him think that she cannot be the girl who rescued him. However, he brings her back to his palace and they spend time together. Eric develops feelings for Ariel, but before he can approach her about them, Ursula, disguised as a human girl named Vanessa, arrives and magically hypnotizes Eric into forgetting about Ariel and believing that she Vanessa is the one who saved his life. Eric almost marries Vanessa, but Ariel and her friends intervene, breaking Ursula's spell and restoring Ariel's voice to her. Eric realizes that Ariel is the girl he has been looking for, but before they can kiss, the sun sets and Ursula claims Ariel. Eric goes after them, diving into the sea to help Ariel. In the battle that follows, Eric climbs on to a ship and charges it towards Ursula, plunging the splintered prow into her belly. Eric manages to reach the shore, and when he wakes, he sees Ariel, transformed back into a human, and the two embrace. The film ends with their wedding.
Eric makes cameo appearances in three episodes of the prequel television series: Thingamajigger (a non-speaking appearance) Scuttle and Ariel's Treasures.
In the 2000 direct-to-video sequel, Eric is a supporting character. Although he and Ariel are happily married, they are threatened by the sea witch Morgana, who wishes to avenge her dead sister, Ursula. He and Ariel decide to keep raise their daughter Melody away from the sea, and keeping her merfolk heritage secret.
Sebastian is a red Jamaican crab and a servant of King Triton. The character was developed solely for the film, and is not derived from the original Hans Christian Andersen story. Early on in the writing and development of The Little Mermaid, the character that would later become Sebastian was originally an English-butler crab named Clarence; songwriter Howard Ashman proposed changing Clarence to a Jamaican Rastafarian crab and shifting the music style throughout the film to reflect this. Duncan Marjoribanks served as Sebastian's supervising animator. Sebastian is voiced by Samuel E. Wright, who auditioned for the role as though he were trying out for a stage musical. His physicality impressed co-director Ron Clements, who videotaped a repeat performance in order to inspire the animators.
When the film opens, Sebastian is announced as the "royal court composer", his full name being "Horatio Pelonius Ignatius Crustaceus Sebastian", and he conducts a concert that King Triton's seven daughters are supposed to perform. Ariel fails to show up for the concert, and later Sebastian joins King Triton in scolding her, blaming her for his humiliation. Sebastian is tasked by King Triton to follow Ariel and keep her out of trouble, and so witnesses Ariel saving Eric from drowning, which horrifies him as contact between the human world and merworld is forbidden. Sebastian accidentally lets this information slip to King Triton, who confronts Ariel and destroys her collection of human things in arage. Feeling guilty for having betrayed Ariel's confidence, Sebastian follows Ariel when she visits Ursula the sea witch for help, and later helps her quest to win Prince Eric's affections. After Ursula disguises herself as the human Vanessa and wins over Prince Eric, Sebastian goes down to inform King Triton, and later becomes instrumental in helping Ariel and Prince Eric defeat Ursula.
Sebastian appears in almost every episode of the prequel television series. Sebastian is shown as being a good friend of Ariel and Flounder. He is sometimes strict and often critical of Ariel's adventurous ways, but often ends up going on her adventures with her. Throughout the series, Sebastian's character is further developed via dialogue and entire episodes dedicated to him.
In the sequel, Sebastian is tasked by King Triton to watch over Ariel's daughter, Princess Melody, repeating his role from the original film.
Flounder is a part-fish, part-duck Ariel's best friend, voiced by Jason Marin in the 1989 film. Flounder scares easily, and is prone to panicking under stressful situations like a single shark breaching the sunken ship, but when Ariel is in trouble, he comes through for her without hesitation. His apperaince is smailer to the ducks in the Kiss The Girl song. His tail is a mashup of a mermaid tail and a juvenile Atlantic blue tang. He has gills of his neck. He uselly hold his breath underwater.
In the film he is the only character to give unconditional support for Ariel's fascination with human things, and at one point gives Ariel a statue of Eric as a gift.
Flounder has a small role in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, where he is reunited with an adult Ariel and takes part in the search for Melody. He became a teenager and he first meets Melody in Morgana's lair. In this film, he is voiced by Cam Clarke.
He has a larger role in The Little Mermaid TV Series, in which he appers in all the episodes of the prequel television series, sharing constant adventures with Ariel. His characterization is notably different in this movie; he doesn't scare as easily and is much more carefree and high-spirited. In some episodes, Flounder would go up to the surface and breath before diving underwater. In the series, he is voiced by Bradley Pierce.
Flounder is one of the main characters of The Little Mermaid 2.5, where he appers in some of the episodes. In this series, he is voiced by Cam Clarke. His characterization is the same as the series.
Ursula is the main antagonist of the 1989 film. She is voiced by Pat Carroll in the film. Ursula is based on the "sea witch/sorceress" character in Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Little Mermaid". In the original story the sea witch is a neutral enabler, but for Disney's adaptation, the character was modified into a full-fledged antagonist and plays a larger role in the overall story. Ursula is a Cecaelia (part human, part octopus) sea witch who "helps" unfortunate merfolk to achieve her own goals. Her appearance is of an obese lavender-skinned, white-haired female human with a facial mole, but from the waist down she has six black tentacles. Octopuses have eight tentacles, but they were reduced to six for Ursula so that they could be animated clearly.
The design of Ursula was based upon drag performer Divine. Pat Carroll was not Clements and Musker's first choice to voice Ursula; the original script had been written with Bea Arthur of the Disney-owned TV series The Golden Girls in mind. After Arthur turned the part down, actresses such as Nancy Marchand, Nancy Wilson, Rosanne Barr, Charlotte Rae, and Elaine Stritch were considered for the part. Stritch was eventually cast as Ursula, but clashed with Howard Ashman's style of music production and was replaced by Carroll. Caroll described the role as "part Shakespearen actress, with all the flair, flamboyance and theatricality, and part used-car salesman with a touch of con artist. Ruben Aquino served as the supervising animator for Ursula. Originally, Glen Keane had been asked to work on Ursula, as he had established a reputation for drawing large, powerful figures, such as the bear in The Fox and the Hound and Professor Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective. The staff of Variety praised Ursula as "a visual feast, a thick-jawed nightmare who swishes about on eight octopus legs in one of the film's more inspired inventions."
When Ursula first appears in the film, she states through monologue that she once lived in the royal palace of King Triton. Ursula commands her minions, the twin moray eels Flotsam and Jetsam, to watch Triton's youngest daughter Ariel; her plan to seize power centers around Ariel's forbidden love for the human Prince Eric. Flotsam and Jetsam persuade Ariel to go to Ursula's lair, claiming that the sea witch is the only one who can solve her problem. Via the song "Poor Unfortunate Souls", Ursula proposes a deal in which she will turn Ariel into a human for three days. If Ariel receives the "kiss of true love" from Prince Eric before sunset on the third day, her transformation will be permanent. However, if Ariel fails, she will turn back into a mermaid and belong to Ursula forever. The price of transformation is Ariel's voice. Ariel signs a magical contract and Ursula takes her voice, and transforms Ariel into a mute human.
As the three days pass and Ariel comes "too close" to succeeding, an enraged Ursula decides to sabotage the bargain and takes the form of a beautiful human woman named "Vanessa". Ursula magically hypnotizes Eric into marrying Vanessa on the third day, but shortly before the wedding Scuttle discovers that Vanessa is really Ursula in disguise and hurries to tell Ariel. Scuttle helps ruin the wedding, and during the mayhem, Ursula's necklace is destroyed, breaking the spell on Eric and restoring Ariel's voice to its original owner. The sun sets just before Ariel and Eric can kiss, and Ariel reverts to her mermaid form. Ursula, transforming back into her true form, claims Ariel and drags her into the sea. Ursula is confronted by Triton, who demands that she release Ariel, but his power cannot break the contract. Ursula offers to let Triton take Ariel's place in the deal, and he accepts and is transformed into a polyp. Ursula takes the crown and trident, becoming the new ruler of the seas, and a small battle ensues between her, Ariel and Eric. Ursula is defeated and killed by Eric, who drives a sunken ship's broken mast into her abdomen. With Ursula killed and gone, her evil spells also cease to function; the polyps turn back into merpeople and escape from Ursula's hideout.
Ursula appears as the antagonist in The Little Mermaid TV series. In all of her episodes, she executes various plans to antagonize King Triton and take over Atlantica, but all fail.
Ursula does not appear in the direct-to-DVD film The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, but she is mentioned many times, mostly by her sister Morgana. In the family portrait during the song "Gonna Get My Wish", Ursula was also depicted with light green skin similar to Morgana and their mother.
King Triton is the Sea King and Ariel's father. In the first film, he is voiced by Kenneth Mars; in the squrl film and the TV Series, he is voiced by Jim Cummings. According to the film's directors Ron Clements and John Musker, the clashes of personality between him and Ariel is because both of them are strong-willed and independent. Triton wields a powerful trident, which is the source of his apparently unlimited power. The character is inspired of the Greek sea god Poseidon, although the actual Triton is from Greek mythology and has two finned feet.
In the 1989 film, Triton is xenophobic toward humans, and Ariel's fascination with humans causes a strain on their relationship. According to Triton, it is against the law for merpeople to have contact with humans, and he orders his servant, Sebastian, to keep an eye on Ariel. Triton is enraged when he learns that Ariel saved the life of and fallen in love with a human, and he destroys her grotto filled with her collection of human things. Eventually Triton orders a search for her to apologize, unaware that she has accepted Ursula's deal and become a human. Triton is distraught over his daughter's disappearance, and when Sebastian, arrives with news of Ursula's scheme, Triton goes to Ursula, offering to take his daughter's place. He is transformed into a polyp, but when Ursula is killed by Prince Eric, he is restored to his original form and regains both his crown and his trident. Realizing that Ariel truly loves Eric, Triton willingly transforms his daughter back into a human.
Triton is a regular character in the prequel television series, in which he is explicitly called the son of Poseidon.
Triton appears in the sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return To The Sea, in which he has learned to trust humans and coexist with human. His weakness is his love for his granddaughter Melody, which is exploited by Morgana.
Scuttle is a seagull and friend of Ariel, voiced by Buddy Hackett in the 1989 film. He appears as an expert on human objects with whom Ariel consults about items she salvages, though his identifications consist of nonsense. He wrongly names a fork a "dinglehopper" and says that it is used as a comb, and a smoking pipe a "snarfblatt" while claiming it works like a trumpet. Despite his erroneous information on human things, Scuttle provides support and advice when he learns that Ariel has to win Eric's heart in three days. On the third day, Scuttle is the one who discovers that Vanessa, the woman Eric has decided to marry instead, is actually Ursula. He immediately tells Ariel this information, and helps stall the wedding with help from other marine creatures so to allow Ariel to arrive and confront Eric (as well as smashing Ursula's shell that held Ariel's voice, thus restoring it and freeing Eric from Ursula's spell).
Scuttle appears in a small role in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, where he helps Ariel find her daughter Melody, who has run away.
Scuttle appears in the third season of the prequel television series in which he is voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
He later appers in The Little Mermaid 2.5 at one of the main characters. He was givin by Ariel the power to change from a seagull to a mermaid seagull and back as will. He can use either Melody or Ariel's bra.
Ariel has six sisters who are named Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Attina, Adella and Alana. In the 1989 film, they are voiced by Kimmy Robertson and Caroline Vasicek, and perform the song "Daughters of Triton", in which they announce themselves in the above order. Later on in the film, Andrina, Attina, Adella and Aquata make a brief appearance together with Ariel in what appears to be the palace dressing room meant for all the sisters. In that scene, Ariel emerges from behind a curtain of seaweed swimming dreamily and humming a few lines from "Part of Your World". The sisters notice the change in Ariel's behavior and conclude in front of their father that Ariel is in love. All six sisters appear again in the end of the film together with King Triton, smiling and waving to Ariel after she gets married to Eric.
In the second film, the sisters play a minor role with only Attina, Andrina, Aquata and Adella having dialogue, and Arista appearing in a non-speaking role.
The age order of the sisters is Aquata - 22, Andrina - 21, Arista - 20, Attina - 19, Adella - 18, Alana - 17 and Ariel - 16.
- Aquata has a blue tail and a matching seashell bikini top. She has brown eyes and wears her brown hair in a ponytail with white pearl decorations. In the original film she is the eldest sister. She always tries to make the difference and is angry and selfish but also is kind and responsible and helps her sisters and specially Ariel her youngest sister and is ready to be queen. She is a minor character in the first and second film and the TV shows.
- Andrina has a dark lavender tail and a magenta seashell bikini top. She has hazel eyes and wears her blonde hair in a bun topped with a pink shell decorations. In the original she is the second-born sister. She is athletic and has a great sense of humor and loves the good jokes but sometimes doesn't take things seriously. She's also the closest to Ariel when she's in trouble. She's also athletic. She is minor character in the first and second film and the TV shows.
- Arista has a red tail and a matching seashell bikini top. She has ice blue eyes and wears her pale blonde hair in a sloppy ponytail with dark pink decorations. She is the third eldest sister. She loves to ride seahorses. In the television series, it is revealed that Arista and Ariel have a troublesome relationship and Arista admits she's jealous of Ariel's free spirit and envies her adventures. She is vain, ironical, selfish yet kind and helps her sisters in need. She's also athletic. She is a minor character in the first film and makes a very brief cameo in the second film and is also a minor character in the TV show.
- Attina has an orange tail and a matching seashell bikini top. She has green eyes and wears her light brown hair in an up-do with a thorny orange crown. She is the forth sister. She's a bookworm and the most clever of her sisters. She's the voice of the conscience and gives advices to her sisters and especially Ariel. She is responsible. She is a minor character in the first and second film and the TV shows.
- Adella has a chartreuse yellow tail and a charteuse green seashell bikini top. She has teal eyes and wears her dark brown hair in a ponytail with golden pearl decorations. She is the fifth sister. She is a beauty queen. She is also vain and takes care always for her self and likes perfection and is a little stupid and likes to help her siblings. She is a boy crazy and has many dates with merboys. She is a minor character in the first and second film and the TV shows.
- Alana has a pink tail and a purple seashell bikini top. She has violet eyes and wears her black hair with a small pink crown. She the sixth sister. She's the sweetest sister. She is shy and rarely tells her feelings. She's Ariel's most beloved sister. She loves animals and plants of the sea. She's a minor character in the first film and TV shows (She didn't appear in the second film).
Urchin is an orphaned merboy with an olive-green tail and is one of the main characters of the prequel television series, in which he is a close friend of Ariel, Sebastian and Flounder, and often goes on adventures with them. He is voiced by Danny Cooksey.
Urchin first appears in the fourth episode of the series, "Urchin". In it, Urchin is seen to be an orphan who lives by himself and wants badly to have friends. He is approached by small-time villains Lobster Mobster, who bring him into their gang and use him to steal food for them. Urchin manages to steal food from the palace, but in doing so is confronted by Ariel. Ariel tries to befriend Urchin, who at first rebuffs her. Urchin shows his true colors when he helps Ariel escape after she is kidnapped by Lobster Mobster. He even stops Crab Louie from stealing from the royal treasury. This earns him a kiss from Ariel. A friendship is forged when Urchin follows Ariel's advice and apologises to King Triton for his behavior. In the episode "Trident True", Urchin plays pranks on Ariel's sisters Arista, Attina and Adella and buys a Father's Day present for King Triton, implying his closeness with the royal family, and Ariel's sisters admit that they look on him as their own little brother. It is unknown what happened to him after the Series, as he does not appear in any of the movies.
Gabriella is one of Ariel's friends. She is a deafmute mermaid with a pink tail and matching shells who communicates with sign language. She appears in two episodes: "Wish Upon A Starfish" and "Ariel's Treasures".
In her first appearance, before she meets Ariel, she sees her singing the first part of a song called "Daring To Dance" and sees her twirling about a music box with a figure of a ballerina on top of it. Ariel stops abruptly upon seeing her, but Gabriella encourages her to continue. She wishes to be able to sing as beautifully as Ariel, and she identifies with Ariel's desire to dance. She decides to journey with Ariel to visit the Magical Wishing Starfish, passing through many dangers along the way. She is saddened when the Magical Wishing Starfish proves to be a fraud, but Ariel reassures her that she can express her feelings just as well through sign language. She joins Ariel in the second part of "Daring to Dance". In her second appearance, she returns to Atlantica for a visit. She and Ariel gush over Ariel's new additions to her collection of human objects, as well as the music box that Ariel found when they first met. Unbeknownst to either of them, Ursula has launched another scheme to take over Atlantica, this time casting a spell that causes Ariel's treasures to come to life and terrorize people. She is confused and shocked when the treasures come alive, but she works with Ariel to break Ursula's spell.
Ollie is a blue vocal octopus who appears in two episodes: "Wish Upon A Starfish" and "Ariel's Treasures". He is the close friend and interpreter of Gabriella, a mute mermaid. He has spots on the sides of his head and a patch on his left eye. In his first appearance, he is shown with Gabriella, watching Ariel sing. After Ariel notices them, he explains Gabriella's disability and introduces himself. He is also the one to tell the tale of the Magical Wishing Starfish, and he accompanies them along the way. In his second appearance, he is visiting Atlantica with Gabriella and helps her stop Ursula's plot to take over the kingdom. He is voiced by Gabriel Damon.
Pearl is a fun-loving mermaid with a blue tail and matching shells who is familiar with Ariel and Alana. She is blonde, with a blue tail and blue, ruffle-edged shells. She appers in the TV shows and is voiced in the first one by Catherine Cavadini and in the second one by Tara Storng.
Spot is a fun loving orca calf whose name is based on a single white spot which is birthmarked on his tail. In the episode called "Whale Of A Tale", when the human poachers get nearby, he frightenedly swims away from his real family until Ariel encounters him with a little love. She cares for him until she lets him go to be with his real family. He returns in "Save The Whale" as a grown-up whale and, as Sebastian announces him, he excitedly begins to perform for the citizens of Atlantica until he gets caught. Ariel, Flounder and Sebastian have a chance to save this whale from the wicked humans.
Dudley is an young sea turtle who also serves somewhat of an assistant to King Triton besides Sebastian. Dudley swim like other sea turtles in this show and keeps important documents within his shell when he retracts his head. His conversation is always interrupted by his employer as he understands what the former is about to say. He appers in The Little Mermaid 2.5.
Hans Christian Andersen
A character based on Hans Christian Andersen, the author of the original Little Mermaid fairy tale appears in the episode "Metal Fish". He is voiced by Mark Hamill, of Star Wars fame.
Based on rumors he hears from other sailors about the existence of merfolk, he attempts verify these claims by exploring the undersea world with the invention of his primitive submarine. While exploring the undersea world, his sub springs a leak and his steering controls are affected causing his sub to lose control and eventually sink to the bottom. However, to his surprise he encounters Ariel, to which his claims are verified. Later on, Archimedes, Sebastian, Flounder, The Crabscouts, and even King Triton appear to assist Andersen's damaged vessel back to the surface. At the end of this episode, the character is inspired by the encounter to "write" the story of The Little Mermaid. This encounter contradicts the idea that Ariel's first face to face contact with humans is with Prince Eric, and forces Ariel to confront her father with the fact that she, Triton, and all merfolk are half human when she appeals to Triton for help in saving Andersen's life.
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea
Princess Melody, voiced by Tara Strong, is the protagonist of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. She is the daughter of Ariel and Eric.
The celebration of her birth opens the film, during which her parents sail out to sea to present her to King Triton and the merfolk. The celebration is interrupted by Morgana, who threatens to hurt Melody if Triton does not hand over the trident. Ariel and Eric manage to save Melody, but because Morgana escapes, Ariel decides that the sea is too dangerous for her daughter. Until Morgana is found, Ariel vows to keep all knowledge of the sea from her, including her mermaid heritage. A magical locket that King Triton had made for Melody for the occasion is reluctantly thrown into the sea.
Melody grows up banned from entering the sea and is not told why, but by her 12th birthday has been regularly secretly sneaking out to swim. On said birthday, Melody finds the locket with her name, and almost questions Ariel about it. She think that her mother may not have the anser. So runs away from the castle in a boat. Melody is discovered by Undertow and convinced to meet Morgana, who uses Melody's love of the sea against her. Morgana transforms Melody into a mermaid, promising her that the transformation will last forever if Melody retrieves the trident from Triton, claiming that he stole it from Morgana. Wanting to be a mermaid forever, Melody agrees.
While searching for the trident, Melody befriends a penguin named Tip and join her in her search. Melody succeeds in stealing the trident, and returns to Morgana at the same time that her mother Ariel, who has been turned back into a mermaid in order to find Melody, also arrives. Melody is angered by Ariel's decision to lie to her, and gives Morgana the trident. Morgana takes Ariel hostage and reveals her true intentions to Melody, and traps her in a cave by sealing the entrance with a thick layer of ice. Soon afterward, Morgana's spell on Melody wears off, causing her to revert into a human and nearly drowning. Tip manage to free her and drag her to the shore. Melody later gives the trident to Triton, who turns the tables on Morgana and encases her in ice.
In the aftermath, Melody apologizes to Ariel and Eric for her actions, and Ariel apologizes for not telling Melody the truth. Triton offers Melody the option of becoming a mermaid permanently but Melody declines. Instead she uses the trident to disintegrate the wall between the palace and the sea, thus reuniting both sides of her family.
She's one of the main characters in The Little Mermaid 2.5.
Morgana is the antagonist of The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. She is the sister of the deceased Ursula. Like Ursula, Morgana is part octopus, having tentacles instead of a tail, but unlike Ursula, Morgana has 8 legs instead of 6, which make Morgana's appearance more squid-like. Morgana's prime motivation is to prove her superiority over Ursula, apparently the favored child of their mother. She openly attacks Melody's birthday party and uses her as a hostage to gain Triton's trident, a ploy that fails due to Ariel's quick thinking. Morgana escapes, and for twelve years eludes Triton's efforts to find her. Morgana eventually meets twelve-year-old Melody, who has rebelled against her mother's overprotective ways. Morgana lures Melody with the promise of becoming a mermaid, using the last of Ursula's magic potion to transform Melody temporarily into a mermaid. Morgana asks Melody to get the trident for her, claiming herself to be its rightful owner. Morgana succeeds in getting the trident thanks to Melody, and proclaims herself as the new ruler of the seven seas. She is eventually stopped by Melody, who steals the trident back and gives it to King Triton. Triton then encases Morgana in an iceberg, and she is left to sink to the bottom of the ocean.
Tip is a supporting character in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea and a friend of Melody. In the film, Tip joins Melody on her journey to retrieve the trident for Morgana. He can hold his breath underwater. He offen go up to the surface. He later appers in The Little Mermaid 2.5 as a main character. He now has a mermaid tail and can use either Melody or Ariel's bra as a air mask.